What is Facebook?

I’ve gotten a little play lately for saying, “Linkedin is your resume; Twitter is your personality.” (Borges, Marketing 2.0: Bridging the Gap between Seller and Buyer through Social Media Marketing, 2009.)

Now I’m being asked, in so many words, “OK bub, you think you’re so full of pith and vinegar… Let’s have a metaphor for Facebook, and make it apt.”

Alright, here goes. Facebook is your life as a cocktail party. And everyone’s coming. Everyone.

Remember how your peeps used to be stratified into groups based on how and when you met them? You had your high school friends, your college friends, your Summer-in-Europe friends, your early 30’s friends. You had your theatre district friends and your techno-geek friends. You had your pre- and post-marriage friends. You had your client friends and your co-worker friends. You had your Saturday night friends, and you had your Sunday morning friends. And throughout, you had your relatively constant family relationships.

Sometimes these groups intermingled; but considerably more often, natural boundaries sprang up between them. Without any subterfuge or orchestration on your part, but merely by the necessary myopia of a life being led through the fullness of time, your stock of friends was multidimensional, and those dimensions rarely overlapped.

Not anymore. Not on Facebook. On Facebook, the gang’s all here. On Facebook, the multidimensional web of your life has collapsed into a big, fat, unlayered melting pot. It’s a 24-hour cocktail party, and everyone you’ve ever known is there. All your clients are there, and all their friends. Your most untethered party-hound is hanging out with your most conservative customer. Your borderline-psychotic ex is chatting up your boss. Your mom is telling your secretary about the longevity of your thumb-sucking.

It’s your party. Welcome! How are you going to entertain all these folks? To whose standards is your behavior going to conform? Is there any part of your life that will escape examination by these folks? How much scrutiny can you tolerate?

They’re here; get used to it.

My advice: party on.

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